Roweena Patina was late for tea. Her mother-in-law, Tulip Aarff, invited her three days ago and yet, somehow, Roweena didn’t know how, she completely forgot!
Now Roweena found herself racing through the streets of Van Schmoodenfloffen, at such a furious pace that one of her wooden shoes flung itself off just as she was passing the Van Windenflooffen Bakery.
And even though Roweena felt her shoe fly off — she was in such a tizzy, she didn’t even bother stopping to retrieve it — despite the aroma of Van Boozlephaffen Pie tempting her . . . tempting her . . . tempting her!
For you see, Roweena, had managed to pile on fifty-three pounds during the annual Glockenflockenfluff Fish Festival to the mighty chagrin of her mother-in-law, Tulip Aarff.
In fact, Tulip Aarff found Roweena Patina lacking discipline in every respect — both as a human being, in general, and as a daughter-in-law in particular. Now, Tulip Aarff could add “fat” to her myriad list of Roweena Patina complaints.
For Tulip Aarff made it her hobby to find fault in the tiniest imperfections of her daughter-in-law’s personage. And today, Tulip Aarff was about to hit the jackpot when it came to her favorite amusement.
When at last Roweena arrived at the double Dutch door of her mother-in-law’s cottage, she said a prayer for protection, then knocked.
“Enter this instant!” commanded Tulip Aarff. “For the cold herring is getting warm and the warm tea is getting cold!”
When Roweena stepped inside with her shoeless foot, her disheveled apron and her bonnet hopelessly askew, Tulip Aarff gasped the Great Mother-in-Law Gasp of the Ages.
“You’re late as usual!” Tulip Aarff barked.
With a hollow smile and a sugary, sweet voice, Roweena said, “I’m only late, my dearest mother-in-law, because I was baking you this “special” Hagleslagen Cuppencaken!
When Roweena finished her tea, she bid Tulip Aarff a cheerful adieu. A cheerful adieu that Tulip Aarff failed to acknowledge, however, what with her being dead from the poison and all.
* * *
Until next time . . . I love you